August 25, 2008
The ride to Rivendell was long and I was quite impatient – I wanted to be there immediately. But when I arrived, finally, I was almost overcome by the soothing, familiar sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful place. Finally, a real rest, the opportunity to properly bathe… And since I felt somewhat restless after a little while, I left to visit Bree, where I currently sit in the sun (as you can see), and write this letter.
It is not so quiet and not so calm, here. I’ve said before that it fascinates me, perhaps more than it should. This place, for me, is steeped in nostalgia and the memories of a time when I was amazed and overwhelmed by the life and excitement of this place. Now, I’m just happy to have had time to visit for a while, and walk around lost in my own thoughts.
I was thrilled to receive correspondence from someone about whom I care quite a bit and have not seen for quite a while. Reading it, I realize now that it was likely very hurtful, when I disappeared with real explanation. There is something poignant about how Men try hard to keep their pride to hide their pain. The respect (almost awe, it seems) which I have earned is touching on a deep level, and brings me a kind of happiness that makes me forget, for a moment, the things I’ve seen and felt recently. I feel undeserving of this – all I’ve done is be myself.
I left a letter for him – it’s the least I can do. I have a feeling he will be sad to know that I have spent a few days within the walls of the same city, but he did not find me here. I am sad too… I’d have liked to see him again. He helped me feel like this world is my second home. I miss his company.
Home is in my thoughts, and I hope all is well in Lórien.
August 24, 2008
Good evening! We have reached the refuge of Gath Forthnír, hidden in the crags of Angmar. Once again I find myself in the company of Men – company with which I have grown very comfortable. Even in such adversity they still maintain a passionate hope and spark of life I feel is just out of my reach. They have given me a comfortable little corner in which to rest, food and drink, and pleasant company. It is warm and fairly friendly here, and the sense of security here puts my mind at ease.
Finally I have some time to think! I somewhat feel the need to collapse into a deep sleep for days… on the other hand I feel a little restless and eager to walk around to hear friendly voices again after so long in the wilderness with only Thalya for company. Good company, but to hear more than our own two voices is quite welcome.
I think there is a chance, after some rest and recovery, that we will ride once again to Rivendell. The thought warms my heart and soothes me in ways that I cannot describe. There is still so much to do and see here, and I am eager to do and see it. But I have seen so much in recent days that familiar sights and familiar faces are all I want to see.
Happily I can report that I am well and safe, and hope you are all well.
August 23, 2008
We are at the gates to Carn Dúm – I feel quite the same here as I felt when I first the gates to Angmar with Haarland a long time ago, in Ram Duath. I was scared and uncertain by the sight, as I am now, and was glad to be in the company of the friends I had known since I first arrived. This sense of intense uncertainty is familiar to me by now and though Thalya is here it seems much more real and unavoidable. Thankfully, we have wisely declined to enter, for the moment. I do not think she will pull away for long, and we will enter these gates at some point – unlike before, when my companion and I returned to the safety and warmth of Esteldin and then Bree.
Worse, this surreal landscape, with a red sky and barren rocks, is full of huge, repulsive spiders. The spiders are the worst part – oh, how I hate them! I can only stand so much of being taken to dark caves, ravines and forests full of these horrid arachnids. It seems to be a sickening surprise, as though my friends lead me to these web-strewn hellholes. I wonder, sometimes, whether they take me to these places on purpose, to see me squirm and recoil – though I put my trust in them and hope they do not.
If I never see another spider, I will be happy beyond measure. Damn them, and damn the arachnid infestation. Of all the horrific sights, and all the evil and darkness I have come to face… These abhorrent creatures are what make me want to turn and run straight to the safety and beauty and calm of Lórien, where I will never see another monstrous spider.
Thalya and I will soon seek the refuge of Men in this bizarre place. It cannot come soon enough, my discomfort and fear have exponentially grown.
I am here, in the lands surrounding Carn Dúm… But believe me, my thoughts and heart are in Lórien.
August 23, 2008
Greetings from deep in the mountains of Angmar. Imlad Balchorth has quite a somber and disturbing landscape – this place is steeped in death. Evil spirits and the undead are prevalent here and though it is frightening and dangerous, I somewhat prefer this lonely and grey landscape to the fire and brimstone of the lands from which Thalya and I ventured.
After climbing up through the mountains on a somewhat questionable and perilous excuse for a trail, we came to a small encampment of dwarves. Not an ideal place to rest but the campfire and food were a welcome respite from the dark climb into the mountains. The dwarves were agreeable enough but I don’t know that they were any more comfortable with our kind than we are with theirs.
Once we had some rest and a meal, we descended into the eerie valley of Imlad Balchorth. Everything here is so grey that it seems monochrome. The pools of water here and there are a sickly poisonous green color – even, as you see, the waterfalls. The trees are dead and dry, and the crags which surround the valley are home to tombs and strange monuments to things lost to the pages of history.
But… As I said, even in the barren landscape of the dead, at least I am simply exploring a world of which I have only read and never seen or touched. That is what I came out of my home to do. Although I feel compelled to answer the call to action of Lord Elrond, I cannot fight constantly, and now I do not have to do so, at least for a while.
I am feeling better, and we know of an encampment of Men nearby where we can perhaps hear more of the strange place into which we have descended. I have seen the landscape changing from grey back to a strange pinkish red and I do not know what is ahead. But I do know that I am about to find out!
I have yet to find a landscape which rivals our home and my love and thoughts are with you all, and am so pleased to report that things have once again turned to exploration and adventure.
August 20, 2008
Hello, everyone! I’m slightly less somber these days – I have been incredibly busy. I’m even feeling a bit more excited about things, lately. The tasks with which I have been charged have become impossible without the help of my friends, but when I do not feel so alone I can recapture some of that excitement I felt when I first started out on this adventure of mine.
As you can see in this picture, things have become quite intense. I have improved my skills at archery so much – I feel as though I can keep up with these older, much more experienced individuals. I feel like I have something to offer.
Let’s hope I can maintain my uplifted spirits until there’s time for a rest and perhaps some time away. I’m sorry this note is so short – I will write in more detail soon. My time today is at a premium, but I wanted to send my love and let you all know that I miss you and think about you often.
August 13, 2008
Greetings all! I’m very sorry for my infrequent communication lately. I’m not sure that what I write is readable or enjoyable anymore. In fact, I’m not sure what to think about anything anymore. The world around me has become nothing but darkness. I feel like there’s so little I can do – and I’m standing here, much like in the picture, feeling like there’s nothing that can possibly stop all of this.
Sometimes I think maybe it’s time for me to withdraw from this place for a while. I miss my old friends, I miss the feeling of exciting adventure I had before. This is a different kind of adventure. This is the real world, where I stand counted among the number of those more powerful and capable than I am. Maybe, I wonder, I am a hindrance. It’s not clear why they accept me into their fold – I’m so inexperienced, and I feel so young.
I didn’t feel that way before. I didn’t feel that I had the weight of saving the world on my shoulders. I had the feeling that I was running around having adventures, seeing an exciting new world. That was before I unexpectedly ran too far away and disappeared from their lives. Before I knew the evil that threatens to overcome this entire land. Before I knew why our kind, as a whole, felt so hopeless and ready to abandon everything and disappear to the west, where we will be away from all of this.
I’ve made up my mind, to go back to Rivendell, or even Bree, wherever I can rest my mind. While I understand, now, the reasons for our kind to leave… I can’t abandon this life that I’ve accepted, and these responsibilities. I can’t abandon my friends and compatriots. But I can escape it. I need to rest, think for a while – I don’t know how I will ask for some reprieve before we continue this fight against this foreboding darkness that is starting to get to me. Hopefully, when you hear from me next, it will be a much happier story. I am so tired, I cannot even write any more tonight, except to say that I send my love to you all.
August 3, 2008
I hesitate to write of this, but I feel I must. I’m horrified and shocked at the evil and darkness that exists in Angmar. The sky, the ground, the very air around me seems saturated with a blood-red evil that almost seeps into one’s pores. Never have I felt this way, never in my whole life. In a small outpost of the Men trying to make a stand against the shocking malevolence of this land, my allies and I have taken refuge. It is impossible to relax, and our rest is uneasy.
My entire world view changed when I set foot in this hostile place. By the time we arrived in this small encampment, all I could do was long for the innocence and safety of my homeland, which feels so incredibly far away. Should I give up, and make the long journey back to Lórien to try and feel safe again? I do not know whether I can do that. It feels like I have a profound responsibility to participate in the fight against this growing evil – not only at the request of Elrond, and not only in solidarity with my kinship… But for Lórien, as well.
With the shadowy evil which permeates this place seeping out into the lands through which I’ve traveled, my mind cannot help but wander back to Lórien. The thought of this evil, this darkness, overcoming our home is too much to bear, and if I can make even a small effort to make a stand for Lórien, should I not do that?
Maybe this is my destiny. Maybe this is what I am meant to do. I cannot allow the darkness of this place fall upon the light of my home. I will not allow it.